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Study finds walking to be most popular adult physical activity in Bendigo

Study finds walking to be most popular adult physical activity in Bendigo
June 24, 2020

Key findings from the recently released Healthy Heart of Victoria 2019 Active Living Census (ALC) has confirmed that walking is the most popular physical activity for adults in Greater Bendigo.

With almost 13,000 responses received, the results from the ALC provide an important insight into the health and wellbeing of people within the City of Greater Bendigo.

One of the largest surveys ever conducted within Greater Bendigo, the ALC asked residents questions about their health and wellbeing, including their participation in organised sport and informal physical activity, consumption of fruit, vegetables, water, alcohol and sugary drinks, overweight and obesity rates, rates of smoking and gambling and levels of life satisfaction.

Key findings from 2019 Active Living Census for Greater Bendigo include:

  • Walking as the most popular physical activity for adults
  • Two in every three adults in Greater Bendigo are overweight or obese
  • One in 10 households in Greater Bendigo are food insecure (they do not have enough to eat. In some areas this increases to one in five households)
  • One in eight adults meet the daily vegetable consumption guidelines
  • Greater Bendigo residents consume more sugary drinks than residents in the Loddon Campaspe Region and Victoria
  • 5.5% of Greater Bendigo residents gamble weekly
  • Females consume nearly three times more vegetables than males
  • Residents in Maiden Gully, Strathfieldsaye and the Rural East reported the highest levels of life satisfaction

City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Margaret O’Rourke said the aim of the ALC was to gather data to help inform future decision making on investments, infrastructure, programs and services to ensure they are what is needed, and placed where they are needed within the municipality.

Mayor O’Rourke notes “the findings will also assist the City, community and government agencies, schools, sporting clubs, community groups and residents to advocate for the health and wellbeing of our community and support.  It will also support local organisations and groups to be more informed about the health behaviours within our community and assist them in obtaining funding to help create better health local outcomes in the future.

“There are two reports available for the ALC findings for the City of Greater Bendigo – a comprehensive topline report featuring detailed tables of data on every survey question, and a selected findings report highlighting the main findings.

“The selected findings report is broken down by each township as well as by the top activities with the highest rate of yearly participation and into specific demographic and population groups.

“There is also a comprehensive summary at the beginning of each of these reports, which provides a holistic overview of the findings for Greater Bendigo and compares the results to the Loddon Campaspe region as well as to Victorian state statistics.”

The ALC was funded by the Healthy Heart of Victoria initiative and project-managed by Healthy Greater Bendigo.  It is a key part of the Healthy Heart of Victoria initiative which was funded to address concerning health statistics across the Loddon Campaspe region – the heart of Victoria.

In addition to the ALC, infrastructure and activation projects to get more people, more active, more often and encourage healthy eating, as well as policy work to help make health everyone’s business, are already underway.

The 2019 Active Living Census reports can be accessed at

Image courtesy of VicHealth

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